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Me vs. Foreign Film

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xianjiro
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#81

Post by xianjiro »

Ebbywebby on Jan 10 2018, 12:36:15 AM wrote:
xianjiro on Jan 9 2018, 10:09:16 PM wrote:
Ebbywebby on Jan 9 2018, 05:34:37 PM wrote:I'm most likely to watch "Howl's Moving Castle" next, just because it's on so many lists and I'm sick of seeing the title "unchecked" everywhere.
Well, I didn't find "Howl's Moving Castle" very homoerotic, so don't be too disappointed and you can always wait for "SatanLEGOtango" - I hear, that while maintaining the narrative structure of the original, they'll change the pacing to fit the other LEGO movies. (Projected runtime 1hr3min).

:P
Nah, I'm waiting for the people who made "Epic Movie," "Disaster Movie," etc. to come out with "LEGO Movie Movie," where they broadly parody all the other recent LEGO movies. Belly laughs for all!
:thumbsup:
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#82

Post by monk-time »

Ebbywebby on Jan 10 2018, 12:38:53 AM wrote:Explain the comment about Ebert's tantrum?
I thought his whole review was way too hostile for such a warm and touching film like Dah. I might be underestimate just how much in vogue Iran was in the 90s among the film festival circuit, but lines like this (from an experienced movie critic, not just an ordinary viewer like me) are just reactionary balooney with a touch of "they're out to get me":
"[Kiarostami's films] are meant not so much to be watched as to be written about."
"But to praise the film for [dealing with modern Iran's issues] is like praising a child for coloring between the lines."
"a willingness to alienate or bore [audiences]."
"Anyone could make a movie like "Ten." Two digital cameras, a car and your actors, and off you go."
"But if this approach were used for a film shot in Europe or America, would it be accepted as an entry at Cannes?"
"no ordinary moviegoer, whether Iranian or American, can be expected to relate to his films."
"it is a shame that Iranian stories are being shut out of Western screenings because of a cabal of dilettantes."
It's like "12 Greatest Hits of Bad Criticism". From this mess of a review I learned more about how Geoff Andrew from S&S apparently pissed in Ebert's champagne (and probably while the rest of Cannes press corps were holding Roger to watch it) than about the movie. And that whole argument about "you only like [a movie about finding something universally human in unique circumstances of war/urban alienation/corporate politics/Italian mafia in America/pew-pew in space] because of its flavor" doesn't hold water either.
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#83

Post by insomnia »

This is already after his even more notorious, awful review of A Taste of Cherry (which won the Palm at Cannes).
Last edited by insomnia on January 10th, 2018, 8:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#84

Post by Ivan0716 »

I watched A Brighter Summer Day the other day and I was pretty underwhelmed. I didn't find it engaging until the last hour, and that only changed because
Spoiler: click to toggle
at that point I was looking forward to seeing the bitch get shank
.

I felt like it was too detached for me to care about the main plot or any individual characters; on the other end the attempt to highlight the plethora of sociopolitical issues during such a messed up period in Taiwanese history through a single supposedly ordinary family was hard to swallow. In the end it landed in that awkward spot where it failed to impress me as a 4-hour epic or as an effective social commentary.
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#85

Post by xianjiro »

monk-time on Jan 10 2018, 01:35:07 AM wrote:
Ebbywebby on Jan 10 2018, 12:38:53 AM wrote:Explain the comment about Ebert's tantrum?
I thought his whole review was way too hostile for such a warm and touching film like Dah. I might be underestimate just how much in vogue Iran was in the 90s among the film festival circuit, but lines like this (from an experienced movie critic, not just an ordinary viewer like me) are just reactionary balooney with a touch of "they're out to get me":
"[Kiarostami's films] are meant not so much to be watched as to be written about."
"But to praise the film for [dealing with modern Iran's issues] is like praising a child for coloring between the lines."
"a willingness to alienate or bore [audiences]."
"Anyone could make a movie like "Ten." Two digital cameras, a car and your actors, and off you go."
"But if this approach were used for a film shot in Europe or America, would it be accepted as an entry at Cannes?"
"no ordinary moviegoer, whether Iranian or American, can be expected to relate to his films."
"it is a shame that Iranian stories are being shut out of Western screenings because of a cabal of dilettantes."
It's like "12 Greatest Hits of Bad Criticism". From this mess of a review I learned more about how Geoff Andrew from S&S apparently pissed in Ebert's champagne (and probably while the rest of Cannes press corps were holding Roger to watch it) than about the movie. And that whole argument about "you only like [a movie about finding something universally human in unique circumstances of war/urban alienation/corporate politics/Italian mafia in America/pew-pew in space] because of its flavor" doesn't hold water either.
wasn't Ebert known for the occasional tantrum even though over all he's considered quite a positive sort of chap? Who knows, maybe his shorts rode up a bit high while he watch Dah or there was too much salt on his popcorn.

But yeah, it does rather seem extreme, especially coming from one of Grand Old Statespeople of Film Critique.
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#86

Post by Ebbywebby »

monk-time on Jan 10 2018, 01:35:07 AM wrote:
Ebbywebby on Jan 10 2018, 12:38:53 AM wrote:Explain the comment about Ebert's tantrum?
I thought his whole review was way too hostile for such a warm and touching film like Dah. I might be underestimate just how much in vogue Iran was in the 90s among the film festival circuit, but lines like this (from an experienced movie critic, not just an ordinary viewer like me) are just reactionary balooney with a touch of "they're out to get me":
"[Kiarostami's films] are meant not so much to be watched as to be written about."
"But to praise the film for [dealing with modern Iran's issues] is like praising a child for coloring between the lines."
"a willingness to alienate or bore [audiences]."
"Anyone could make a movie like "Ten." Two digital cameras, a car and your actors, and off you go."
"But if this approach were used for a film shot in Europe or America, would it be accepted as an entry at Cannes?"
"no ordinary moviegoer, whether Iranian or American, can be expected to relate to his films."
"it is a shame that Iranian stories are being shut out of Western screenings because of a cabal of dilettantes."
It's like "12 Greatest Hits of Bad Criticism". From this mess of a review I learned more about how Geoff Andrew from S&S apparently pissed in Ebert's champagne (and probably while the rest of Cannes press corps were holding Roger to watch it) than about the movie. And that whole argument about "you only like [a movie about finding something universally human in unique circumstances of war/urban alienation/corporate politics/Italian mafia in America/pew-pew in space] because of its flavor" doesn't hold water either.
Interestin'.

Ebert started losing my faith in his later years...I felt like he fell down a rabbit hole of praising movies because "They're good, for what they are" and went too soft.
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#87

Post by cinewest »

Ebbywebby on Jan 10 2018, 12:33:06 AM wrote:
cinewest on Jan 9 2018, 09:57:10 PM wrote:
Ebbywebby on Jan 9 2018, 05:34:37 PM wrote:Well, I didn't dislike "Beau Travail," but I didn't particularly care for it either. TSPDT thinks this is the 155th greatest movie ever? Come on. It sure wasn't what I expected, though...I thought it was essentially a "war movie." Didn't realize it would be so minimalist. Or homoerotic. This was only my second Claire Denis film, after the short feature "US Go Home" (which I don't remember well) -- are her films often paced so defiantly "slow"?

Some filmmakers you have to get used to before you can appreciate them. I might say the same about slow cinema if your steady diet is the antithesis.

Expectations can definitely interfere with a film viewing (and we all have them), especially if they are confounded entirely. Instead of finding fault with the filmmaker, why not consider discovering a way to connect with what he/she is doing, and try the film again. Some of my own favorites have been arrived at just so.

Personally, I think that Claire Denis has been one of the world's most interesting filmmakers over the past 30 years, and would suggest a film like Chocolate, to begin with, or perhaps 35 Shots of Rum, which aren't as strange as many of her others.

Reading a little about her and her cinematic intentions might also help. The most interesting filmmakers are often the ones we don't get at first, if only because they are working with the medium in a way we just aren't used to.
You really have a way of talking down to people, don't you? Not the first time you've done this in this thread.

Maybe your problem was assuming I meant "minimalist" or "slow" as a criticism. Actually, I'm more likely to enjoy something slow/minimalist than a "war movie."
Sorry you think I was talking down to you. Truth is, I was using myself more as the reference point....
Last edited by cinewest on January 10th, 2018, 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#88

Post by OldAle1 »

xianjiro on Jan 10 2018, 04:18:24 AM wrote:
monk-time on Jan 10 2018, 01:35:07 AM wrote:
Ebbywebby on Jan 10 2018, 12:38:53 AM wrote:Explain the comment about Ebert's tantrum?
I thought his whole review was way too hostile for such a warm and touching film like Dah. I might be underestimate just how much in vogue Iran was in the 90s among the film festival circuit, but lines like this (from an experienced movie critic, not just an ordinary viewer like me) are just reactionary balooney with a touch of "they're out to get me":
"[Kiarostami's films] are meant not so much to be watched as to be written about."
"But to praise the film for [dealing with modern Iran's issues] is like praising a child for coloring between the lines."
"a willingness to alienate or bore [audiences]."
"Anyone could make a movie like "Ten." Two digital cameras, a car and your actors, and off you go."
"But if this approach were used for a film shot in Europe or America, would it be accepted as an entry at Cannes?"
"no ordinary moviegoer, whether Iranian or American, can be expected to relate to his films."
"it is a shame that Iranian stories are being shut out of Western screenings because of a cabal of dilettantes."
It's like "12 Greatest Hits of Bad Criticism". From this mess of a review I learned more about how Geoff Andrew from S&S apparently pissed in Ebert's champagne (and probably while the rest of Cannes press corps were holding Roger to watch it) than about the movie. And that whole argument about "you only like [a movie about finding something universally human in unique circumstances of war/urban alienation/corporate politics/Italian mafia in America/pew-pew in space] because of its flavor" doesn't hold water either.
wasn't Ebert known for the occasional tantrum even though over all he's considered quite a positive sort of chap? Who knows, maybe his shorts rode up a bit high while he watch Dah or there was too much salt on his popcorn.

But yeah, it does rather seem extreme, especially coming from one of Grand Old Statespeople of Film Critique.
I think Ebert gradually became a less interesting critic - and perhaps became less interested in "serious" film - over his professional lifetime, and I think much of that may have been subconscious but it had to do with his increased profile as a national figure and with devoting more effort to a TV show, necessarily more mainstream in it's coverage, than to his print job at the Sun-Times. I think if you know that your audience for the most part doesn't care about foreign films - particularly somebody as "challenging" as Kiarostami - you're less likely to devote energy to covering them if you don't have to. Rosenbaum, almost exactly the same age as Ebert, never had that issue as he stayed with an alternative paper for many years and was never a TV guy. I guess what it comes down to is that you can't be a big household-name TV star talking about Iranian cinema, or really anything more "alternative" than Tarantino. At least you can't act as if a Kiarostami or Jia or Tarr is on the same level as a Spielberg or Scorsese!

Anyway that's my take on it, I could be wrong, but I did live in Chicago from '83-00 and read Ebert, Siskel, Rosenbaum and a lot of the other critics pretty regularly during that time, though as a Rosenbaum partisan I certainly could be biased.
It was the truth, vivid and monstrous, that all the while he had waited the wait was itself his portion..
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#89

Post by xianjiro »

OldAle1 on Jan 10 2018, 12:50:43 PM wrote:I think Ebert gradually became a less interesting critic - and perhaps became less interested in "serious" film - over his professional lifetime, and I think much of that may have been subconscious but it had to do with his increased profile as a national figure and with devoting more effort to a TV show, necessarily more mainstream in it's coverage, than to his print job at the Sun-Times. I think if you know that your audience for the most part doesn't care about foreign films - particularly somebody as "challenging" as Kiarostami - you're less likely to devote energy to covering them if you don't have to. Rosenbaum, almost exactly the same age as Ebert, never had that issue as he stayed with an alternative paper for many years and was never a TV guy. I guess what it comes down to is that you can't be a big household-name TV star talking about Iranian cinema, or really anything more "alternative" than Tarantino. At least you can't act as if a Kiarostami or Jia or Tarr is on the same level as a Spielberg or Scorsese!

Anyway that's my take on it, I could be wrong, but I did live in Chicago from '83-00 and read Ebert, Siskel, Rosenbaum and a lot of the other critics pretty regularly during that time, though as a Rosenbaum partisan I certainly could be biased.
Makes good sense. Maybe he was just annoyed because someone on his staff said, "sure, he'll review it" and it just meant less time away from his bread and butter. Though one wonders what he'd be like today with the ever-present superhero movie to review. Still, interesting stuff.

So, has the moving castle howled yet?
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#90

Post by Ebbywebby »

xianjiro: So, has the moving castle howled yet?

No, but I had a bizarre movie day yesterday that somehow entailed seeing "The Last Jedi" by myself around twilight and then going back to the same theater three hours later to see "The Shape of Water" with my girlfriend (who doesn't "do" Star Wars movies). I don't know if I've ever done something like that before. The tricky logistics of taking advantage of $5 Tuesdays at the local AMC, with reserved seating and tiny "Dine In" theaters....

I liked "Jedi" more than expected, and "Shape of Water" less. Hrm.
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#91

Post by St. Gloede »

xianjiro on Jan 10 2018, 03:41:53 PM wrote:
OldAle1 on Jan 10 2018, 12:50:43 PM wrote:I think Ebert gradually became a less interesting critic - and perhaps became less interested in "serious" film - over his professional lifetime, and I think much of that may have been subconscious but it had to do with his increased profile as a national figure and with devoting more effort to a TV show, necessarily more mainstream in it's coverage, than to his print job at the Sun-Times. I think if you know that your audience for the most part doesn't care about foreign films - particularly somebody as "challenging" as Kiarostami - you're less likely to devote energy to covering them if you don't have to. Rosenbaum, almost exactly the same age as Ebert, never had that issue as he stayed with an alternative paper for many years and was never a TV guy. I guess what it comes down to is that you can't be a big household-name TV star talking about Iranian cinema, or really anything more "alternative" than Tarantino. At least you can't act as if a Kiarostami or Jia or Tarr is on the same level as a Spielberg or Scorsese!

Anyway that's my take on it, I could be wrong, but I did live in Chicago from '83-00 and read Ebert, Siskel, Rosenbaum and a lot of the other critics pretty regularly during that time, though as a Rosenbaum partisan I certainly could be biased.
Makes good sense. Maybe he was just annoyed because someone on his staff said, "sure, he'll review it" and it just meant less time away from his bread and butter. Though one wonders what he'd be like today with the ever-present superhero movie to review. Still, interesting stuff.

So, has the moving castle howled yet?
I am always reminded of Ebert's extreme view on intention/purpose over quality. If it was meant to be mediocre it would often be thumbs up. Remember the episode where he gave Full Metal Jacket (I believe, could have been another) thumbs down, and some bad children's dog film thumbs up - and when Siskel pointed it out Ebert got furious, and stated that Full Metal Jacket was 10 times the film (and essentially, because of that was held to a higher standard).

Perhaps very good for those who don't care about film in general, as a mediocre dulling escape can be promoted and seen, but it makes it hard for the rest of us to fully believe him.

(Plus, you should see his review of De Palma's Greetings where he thought 1 character were two different ones (You had the story of 3 friends, and each of theirs separate adventures cut together), and somehow he understood that 2 of them were the same character, maybe because one was Robert De Niro, though not famous yet - but bashed the film for the arbitrary sideplot ... :D I always think back to that)

Edit: I suppose my overall point here is that Evert could be absurd, unfair and not necessarily the best critic from those with more than a passing fancy for film - but then he also contributed a lot, and I used to love watching At the Movies (even though I preferred Siskel greatly).
Last edited by St. Gloede on January 10th, 2018, 11:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#92

Post by xianjiro »

Ebbywebby on Jan 10 2018, 03:50:43 PM wrote:xianjiro: So, has the moving castle howled yet?

No, but I had a bizarre movie day yesterday that somehow entailed seeing "The Last Jedi" by myself around twilight and then going back to the same theater three hours later to see "The Shape of Water" with my girlfriend (who doesn't "do" Star Wars movies). I don't know if I've ever done something like that before. The tricky logistics of taking advantage of $5 Tuesdays at the local AMC, with reserved seating and tiny "Dine In" theaters....

I liked "Jedi" more than expected, and "Shape of Water" less. Hrm.
well, maybe you should just admit you really DO love blockbusters!

I've really tried to avoid Jedi discussions. Was so unimpressed by the last one - name escapes me but I did like Rogue One. I'm hoping Jar Jar Jedi will somehow pleasantly surprise me, but it will be months before it hits my library.
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#93

Post by Ebbywebby »

St. Gloede:
I am always reminded of Ebert's extreme view on intention/purpose over quality. If it was meant to be mediocre it would often be thumbs up. Remember the episode where he gave Full Metal Jacket (I believe, could have been another) thumbs down, and some bad children's dog film thumbs up - and when Siskel pointed it out Ebert got furious, and stated that Full Metal Jacket was 10 times the film (and essentially, because of that was held to a higher standard).


This is similar to my complaint about him giving thumbs up to films that are "good, for what they are."

xianjiro:
well, maybe you should just admit you really DO love blockbusters!


Maybe I'll concede this if I ever get a Bronze on the "All-Time Worldwide Box Office" list. :)
Last edited by Ebbywebby on January 10th, 2018, 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#94

Post by St. Gloede »

Ebbywebby on Jan 10 2018, 04:27:57 PM wrote:St. Gloede:
I am always reminded of Ebert's extreme view on intention/purpose over quality. If it was meant to be mediocre it would often be thumbs up. Remember the episode where he gave Full Metal Jacket (I believe, could have been another) thumbs down, and some bad children's dog film thumbs up - and when Siskel pointed it out Ebert got furious, and stated that Full Metal Jacket was 10 times the film (and essentially, because of that was held to a higher standard).


This is similar to my complaint about him giving thumbs up to films that are "good, for what they are."
Exactly, just wanted to elaborate on the extremity of it.
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#95

Post by Ebbywebby »

Ebbywebby wrote: ↑January 10th, 2018, 12:34 am What's left:
1. A Brighter Summer Day 1991
2. A Nos Amours 1983
3. Akira 1988
4. Castle in the Sky 1986
5. Dah 2000
6. Days of Being Wild 1990
7. Farewell My Concubine 1993
8. Floating Weeds 1959
9. Happy Together 1997
10. Howl's Moving Castle 2004
11. Infernal Affairs 2002
12. La Haine 1995
13. La Terra Trema 1948
14. Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India 2001
15. Les Vampires 1915
16. Memories of Murder 2003
17. Memories of Underdevelopment 1968
18. Olympia, Parts 1 & 2 1938
19. Pelle the Conqueror 1987
20. Raise the Red Lantern 1991
21. Red Sorghum 1987
22. Satantango 1994
23. Shoah 1985
24. Sholay 1975
25. Spring in a Small Town 1948
26. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...and Spring 2003
27. Still Life 2006
28. The Cloud-Capped Star 1960
29. The Secret in Their Eyes 2009
30. The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum 1939
31. The Travelling Players 1975
32. Time of the Gypsies 1988
33. Yi Yi 2000
Well, since the above post, I've seen Howl's Moving Castle, La Haine, Memories of Murder, Memories of Underdevelopment, Spring in a Small Town, The Cloud-Capped Star and Yi Yi. But I also tweaked my criteria a little for assembling the list, so a few other titles dropped off even though I still haven't seen them.

So now, my short list of most renowned, unseen foreign-lang films is (arguably).....

1. A Brighter Summer Day 1991
2. A City of Sadness 1989
3. A Nos Amours 1983
4. Akira 1988
5. Barren Lives 1963
6. Castle in the Sky 1986
7. Dah 2002
8. Days of Being Wild 1990
9. Farewell My Concubine 1993
10. Floating Clouds 1955
11. Happy Together 1997
12. Landscape in the Mist 1988
13. Les Vampires 1915
14. Olympia, Parts 1 & 2 1938
15. Raise the Red Lantern 1991
16. Satantango 1994
17. Shoah 1985
18. Sholay 1975
19. Terra em Transe 1967
20. The Crime of Monsieur Lange 1936
21. The Puppetmaster 1993
22. The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum 1939
23. The Travelling Players 1975
24. Through the Olive Trees 1994
25. Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks 2002
26. Tropical Malady 2004
27. Underground 1995
28. Where Is the Friend's Home? 1987
29. Yellow Earth 1984

Hmm. Well, to be honest, I'm not so keen to see about half of these. Some of the Chinese films, the anime, Sholay, Tropical Malady.... But I'd be happy to see A Nos Amours, Dah, Olympia, Satantango, Terra em Transe, The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum, Where Is the Friend's Home? or Underground.
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#96

Post by 3eyes »

It has a lot to do with my historical interest I guess, but my faves on the above list are Yellow Earth, The Puppetmaster, and Underground.
:run: STILL the Gaffer!
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#97

Post by fori »

What do you have against Chinese films?
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#98

Post by Ebbywebby »

Update: saw Sholay in recent weeks and saw Days of Being Wild last night. DOBW was pretty good, sure, but this doesn't mean I can see why TSPDT suggests this is the #344 greatest film EVER.

Furthermore, Castle in the Sky dipped beneath the list's criteria and Infernal Affairs ROSE to satisfy the criteria.

So this leaves....

1. A Brighter Summer Day 1991
2. A City of Sadness 1989
3. A Nos Amours 1983
4. Akira 1988
5. Barren Lives 1963
6. Dah 2002
7. Farewell My Concubine 1993
8. Floating Clouds 1955
9. Happy Together 1997
10. Infernal Affairs 2002
11. Landscape in the Mist 1988
12. Les Vampires 1915
13. Olympia, Parts 1 & 2 1938
14. Raise the Red Lantern 1991
15. Satantango 1994
16. Shoah 1985
17. Terra em Transe 1967
18. The Crime of Monsieur Lange 1936
19. The Puppetmaster 1993
20. The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum 1939
21. The Travelling Players 1975
22. Through the Olive Trees 1994
23. Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks 2002
24. Tropical Malady 2004
25. Underground 1995
26. Where Is the Friend's Home? 1987
27. Yellow Earth 1984

I recently added 23 features to my watchlist, including Les Vampires and Terra em Transe. I was close to also adding A Nos Amours, Dah and Underground, but decided they're still not quite top-tier priorities.

I think I missed a recent KG "Where Is the Friend's Home?" freeleech. And my damn local library still eternally claims to have Last Chrysanthemum on the shelf but never does. I think my library DOES have Shoah and Farewell My Concubine.
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#99

Post by Ebbywebby »

Ebbywebby wrote: ↑September 25th, 2019, 9:22 pm 1. A Brighter Summer Day 1991
2. A City of Sadness 1989
3. A Nos Amours 1983
4. Akira 1988
5. Barren Lives 1963
6. Dah 2002
7. Farewell My Concubine 1993
8. Floating Clouds 1955
9. Happy Together 1997
10. Infernal Affairs 2002
11. Landscape in the Mist 1988
12. Les Vampires 1915
13. Olympia, Parts 1 & 2 1938
14. Raise the Red Lantern 1991
15. Satantango 1994
16. Shoah 1985
17. Terra em Transe 1967
18. The Crime of Monsieur Lange 1936
19. The Puppetmaster 1993
20. The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum 1939
21. The Travelling Players 1975
22. Through the Olive Trees 1994
23. Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks 2002
24. Tropical Malady 2004
25. Underground 1995
26. Where Is the Friend's Home? 1987
27. Yellow Earth 1984
Quite awhile later (and with the small impact of a fresh TSPDT update), my estimate of the most renowned non-English films I've missed shifts down to....

1. A City of Sadness 1989
2. Akira 1988
3. Blissfully Yours 2002
4. Colossal Youth 2006
5. Distant 2002
6. Farewell My Concubine 1993
7. Infernal Affairs 2002
8. La Region Centrale 1971
9. Les Vampires 1915
10. Nostalgia for the Light 2010
11. Platform 2000
12. Raise the Red Lantern 1991
13. Rosetta 1999
14. Shoah 1985
15. Still Life 2006
16. Syndromes and a Century 2006
17. The Hour of the Furnaces 1968
18. The Puppetmaster 1993
19. The Son 2002
20. The Taking of Power by Louis XIV 1966
21. The Travelling Players 1975
22. Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks 2002
23. Tropical Malady 2004
24. Twenty Years Later 1984
25. Van Gogh 1991

I'm not particularly wild to see most of these films. Can you tell I'm not a fan of Apichatpong W.? "Les Vampires" and "La Region Centrale" are my two must-sees here. It's strange to me how poorly circulated "Farewell My Concubine" and "Raise the Red Lantern" are. I keep expecting to just stumble upon them somewhere (TCM or a streaming service) and it doesn't happen.
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#100

Post by gunnar »

I watched Akira 30+ years ago and thought it was okay. I enjoyed the manga that it is based on a lot more and had read that before seeing the movie so that helped.

I watched three of the films on your list last fall.

1) I did not like Farewell My Concubine very much at all.

2) I thought Infernal Affairs was pretty solid. It's a good crime film.

3) I thought Raise the Red Lantern was beautifully shot and I liked it a lot, but could see that it wouldn't be for everyone. The pace could also be a bit slow at times.


In reading through the thread, I saw some discussion about My Neighbor Totoro. I bought this on vhs when it came out back in 1988/1989 or whenever it was released over here. It was my first film from Studio Ghibli and I enjoyed it, but there have been a lot of other films from Ghibli that I have enjoyed a lot more. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind might be worth checking out if you haven't seen it. It's probably my second favorite from Miyazaki.
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#101

Post by OldAle1 »

Ebbywebby wrote: ↑February 10th, 2022, 1:30 pm
I'm not particularly wild to see most of these films. Can you tell I'm not a fan of Apichatpong W.? "Les Vampires" and "La Region Centrale" are my two must-sees here. It's strange to me how poorly circulated "Farewell My Concubine" and "Raise the Red Lantern" are. I keep expecting to just stumble upon them somewhere (TCM or a streaming service) and it doesn't happen.
Do you use libraries at all? Pretty sure when I re-watched Raise the Red Lantern I got out a DVD from the library and it was pretty decent quality. But I don't really keep track of such things so I may be misremembering; at any rate I do remember the copy I saw being good.

Of the ones you have left I'd pick Shoah and Les vampires as the two best films. I like Apichatpong Weerasethakul myself but like Marguerite Duras he offers particular challenges that I have to be in the mood to work with, and I've only seen a couple of his films so far. Maybe another one or two this month if I can tear myself away from watching old Oscar nominees.
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#102

Post by kongs_speech »

Ebbywebby wrote: ↑February 10th, 2022, 1:30 pm 1. A City of Sadness 1989
2. Akira 1988
3. Blissfully Yours 2002
4. Colossal Youth 2006
5. Distant 2002
6. Farewell My Concubine 1993
7. Infernal Affairs 2002
8. La Region Centrale 1971
9. Les Vampires 1915
10. Nostalgia for the Light 2010
11. Platform 2000
12. Raise the Red Lantern 1991
13. Rosetta 1999
14. Shoah 1985
15. Still Life 2006
16. Syndromes and a Century 2006
17. The Hour of the Furnaces 1968
18. The Puppetmaster 1993
19. The Son 2002
20. The Taking of Power by Louis XIV 1966
21. The Travelling Players 1975
22. Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks 2002
23. Tropical Malady 2004
24. Twenty Years Later 1984
25. Van Gogh 1991

I'm not particularly wild to see most of these films. Can you tell I'm not a fan of Apichatpong W.? "Les Vampires" and "La Region Centrale" are my two must-sees here. It's strange to me how poorly circulated "Farewell My Concubine" and "Raise the Red Lantern" are. I keep expecting to just stumble upon them somewhere (TCM or a streaming service) and it doesn't happen.
Akira is a huge personal favorite. Tropical Malady and Syndromes didn't do a whole lot for me, but I should revisit them. Nostalgia for the Light and Twenty Years Later are great.
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#103

Post by brokenface »

Ebbywebby wrote: ↑September 25th, 2019, 9:22 pm It's strange to me how poorly circulated "Farewell My Concubine" and "Raise the Red Lantern" are. I keep expecting to just stumble upon them somewhere (TCM or a streaming service) and it doesn't happen.
Farewell My Concubine has a BFI blu-ray. Would've thought Criterion could do it too & get it on their streamer. Not sure why Criterion always been so poor at releasing Chinese cinema. Rights and restoration issues factor in, I'm sure, but they manage to release some Indian & Russian films, who tend to have similar problems. They release HK and Taiwan, but almost nothing from mainland.

Crime that a film like Raise the Red Lantern is so difficult to find.
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#104

Post by Ebbywebby »

OldAle1 wrote: ↑February 10th, 2022, 2:47 pm Do you use libraries at all?
I've checked out a decent number of DVDs from my local library in modern times (mostly Criterion Collection releases) but, to be honest, it closed for awhile when COVID hit and I haven't even confirmed that it re-opened. I haven't been back.

Some years ago, I skimmed through the DVD racks pretty well and jotted down all the interesting, unseen titles so I'd have them for future reference. I think the list was originally 80-90 titles. I checked out some of those discs and crossed off more titles as I caught them on TCM or wherever, and now the list is considerably smaller.

2046
A Cottage on Dartmoor
Che
Coup de Torchon
Dead or Alive
Early Spring
*Farewell My Concubine
Fireworks Wednesday
George Washington
Insomnia (Swedish version)
La Guerre Est Finie
Love Unto Death (L'amour a Mort)
Man Push Cart
Marlene Dietrich: The Glamour Collection
Melo
Paul Robeson: Portraits of the Artist
*Platform
Samurai Spy
Sex and Lucia
*Shoah
Swimming Pool (Ozon)
The Best Intentions
The Blue Light
The Devil's Backbone
The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec
The Lower Depths (Renoir)
The Makioka Sisters
The Name of the Rose
*The Puppetmaster
The Return of the Secaucus 7
The Taste of Tea
Thieves Highway

A pretty short list now. And it happens that I grabbed one of these films from KG just a week or so ago.
Last edited by Ebbywebby on February 10th, 2022, 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#105

Post by Ebbywebby »

brokenface wrote: ↑February 10th, 2022, 4:13 pm Crime that a film like Raise the Red Lantern is so difficult to find.
I found this awhile ago.

https://www.imdb.com/tv/watch/tt0101640

But it has commercial breaks. More importantly, I'm concerned that the stream is seemingly four or five minutes shorter than it should be.
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#106

Post by xianjiro »

brokenface wrote: ↑February 10th, 2022, 4:13 pm
Ebbywebby wrote: ↑September 25th, 2019, 9:22 pm It's strange to me how poorly circulated "Farewell My Concubine" and "Raise the Red Lantern" are. I keep expecting to just stumble upon them somewhere (TCM or a streaming service) and it doesn't happen.
Farewell My Concubine has a BFI blu-ray. Would've thought Criterion could do it too & get it on their streamer. Not sure why Criterion always been so poor at releasing Chinese cinema. Rights and restoration issues factor in, I'm sure, but they manage to release some Indian & Russian films, who tend to have similar problems. They release HK and Taiwan, but almost nothing from mainland.

Crime that a film like Raise the Red Lantern is so difficult to find.
Didn't Miramax release Farewell in the US (NA?) market? I would imagine they still have the rights - which means it's controlled by the Evil Mouse Empire, no? No idea how well they work with Criterion/Janus, but my sense is they (C/J) do releases no one else wants to do. I mean, would any of the studios want to do releases of Bergman or Fellini at this point? Might take something away from all those supper-heroes they want us to consume. :o
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#107

Post by xianjiro »

Ebbywebby wrote: ↑February 10th, 2022, 8:45 pm I've checked out a decent number of DVDs from my local library in modern times (mostly Criterion Collection releases) but, to be honest, it closed for awhile when COVID hit and I haven't even confirmed that it re-opened. I haven't been back.
My library's been open in one form or another for about a year. You should check that out.

I do all my browsing online (did before Covid as well though then it was just "most"), put things on hold, and once a week go to pick them up during a dog walk. We've got curbside pickup, so I use that, but if the dog's not with me, I can go in and browse/pickup my items as 'normal'.
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#108

Post by Torgo »

Ebbywebby wrote: ↑March 9th, 2017, 10:46 am Pick 1-3 favorite titles and sell me on why I should see them first.

A Brighter Summer Day 1991
A Nos Amours 1983
A Touch of Zen 1971
Akira 1988
Beau Travail 1999
Dah 2000
Days of Being Wild 1990
Farewell My Concubine 1993
Floating Weeds 1959
Ghost in the Shell 1995
Happy Together 1997
Howl's Moving Castle 2004
Infernal Affairs 2002
La Haine 1995
La Terra Trema 1948
Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India 2001
Les Vampires 1915
Memories of Underdevelopment 1968
Mother India 1957
My Neighbor Totoro 1988
Olympia Part 1 & 2 1938
Pelle the Conqueror 1987
Port of Shadows 1938
Raise the Red Lantern 1991
Red Sorghum 1987
Satantango 1994
Shoah 1985
Sholay 1975
Spring in a Small Town 1948
Still Life 2006
The Cloud-Capped Star 1960
The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum 1939
The Travelling Players 1975
The Tree of Wooden Clogs 1978
Time of the Gypsies 1988
Triumph of the Will 1935
Yi Yi 2000
I marked my 3 picks. Why these?: Because you just admitted in another thread to still haven't seem them and I just cannot believe it! :P

(Otherwise, it would have been Satantango from me and 1 of the animes you seem to hate - so, Akira or Totoro - and probably in fact RtRL (or any other Asian film from that, because I don't think La Haine would do much for you)).
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#109

Post by cinewest »

Torgo wrote: ↑September 4th, 2022, 2:32 am
Ebbywebby wrote: ↑March 9th, 2017, 10:46 am Pick 1-3 favorite titles and sell me on why I should see them first.

A Brighter Summer Day 1991
A Nos Amours 1983
A Touch of Zen 1971
Akira 1988
Beau Travail 1999
Dah 2000
Days of Being Wild 1990
Farewell My Concubine 1993
Floating Weeds 1959
Ghost in the Shell 1995
Happy Together 1997
Howl's Moving Castle 2004
Infernal Affairs 2002
La Haine 1995
La Terra Trema 1948
Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India 2001
Les Vampires 1915
Memories of Underdevelopment 1968
Mother India 1957
My Neighbor Totoro 1988
Olympia Part 1 & 2 1938
Pelle the Conqueror 1987
Port of Shadows 1938
Raise the Red Lantern 1991
Red Sorghum 1987
Satantango 1994
Shoah 1985
Sholay 1975
Spring in a Small Town 1948
Still Life 2006
The Cloud-Capped Star 1960
The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum 1939
The Travelling Players 1975
The Tree of Wooden Clogs 1978
Time of the Gypsies 1988
Triumph of the Will 1935
Yi Yi 2000
I marked my 3 picks. Why these?: Because you just admitted in another thread to still haven't seem them and I just cannot believe it! :P

(Otherwise, it would have been Satantango from me and 1 of the animes you seem to hate - so, Akira or Totoro - and probably in fact RtRL (or any other Asian film from that, because I don't think La Haine would do much for you)).
So many very good ones on this list, but Time of the Gypsies is definitely a fave (did you know the original version was a miniseries double the length of the film that was released?). I think that Raise the Red Lantern is Zhang Yimou's best, too (and La Haine is overrated- the typical kind of intentionally hip foreign language film to catch on with audiences attached to Hollywood fare). Hard for me to chime in on a third without knowing Ebby's own taste better....
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#110

Post by Ebbywebby »

You two should have referenced the updated list I shared back in February, 2022. That 2017 (!!) list is obsolete now and I've seen about 27 films from it. And even that February list includes three films that I've now seen: Les Vampires, The Son and Tropical Malady.

I didn't plan on sharing an updated list anytime soon but since the issue has been pressed, OK. I loosened the requirements to add a few new titles.

My top unseen foreign-language films (9/22)
1. A City of Sadness 1989
2. A Prophet 2009
3. Abraham's Valley 1993
4. Akira 1988
5. Blissfully Yours 2002
6. Colossal Youth 2006
7. D'est 1993
8. Distant 2002
9. Farewell My Concubine 1993
10. Infernal Affairs 2002
11. La Region Centrale 1971
12. Mother and Son 1997
13. Nostalgia for the Light 2010
14. Platform 2000
15. Raise the Red Lantern 1991
16. Rosetta 1999
17. Shoah 1985
18. Still Life 2006
19. Syndromes and a Century 2006
20. The Hour of the Furnaces 1968
21. The Puppetmaster 1993
22. The Taking of Power by Louis XIV 1966
23. The Travelling Players 1975
24. Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks 2002
25. Twenty Years Later 1984
26. Van Gogh 1991

I think I have links saved for streams of A City of Sadness, La Region Centrale, Abraham's Valley, Raise the Red Lantern, The Puppetmaster and The Travelling Players.
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#111

Post by Minkin »

Ebbywebby wrote: ↑September 4th, 2022, 11:15 am 22. The Taking of Power by Louis XIV 1966
This one is interesting - because the main actor who plays Louis XIV was possibly one of the worst actors in any film - as he spends the whole movie barely getting anything right, reading from cue cards, and just dying inside of stage fright, but it turns out Rossellini specifically chose this on purpose - because he thought it best represented Louis XIV at the time he was living in - with the constant threat of being overthrown and guillotined. So it was a way to show how timid and frightened he must've been, thus he cast someone who fit that bill.

Upon learning that, the whole dynamic of the film changed for me, and I find it a lot more fascinating in that context, which is something you'd never immediately pick up just from watching it blindly - but Rossellini knew what he was doing, and it makes for a more interesting watch knowing all of this. I learned this from one of the Criterion supplements - by the great Tag Gallagher, who I wish did a video essay on every film for how great they are and how much he uncovers about these films. So whilst Taking of Power is just ok, I find it a more complicated film knowing all that's gone into it - and you do end up feeling bad for the poor guy playing Louis, as he's just barely holding it together the whole time.
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#112

Post by cinewest »

Ebbywebby wrote: ↑September 4th, 2022, 11:15 am You two should have referenced the updated list I shared back in February, 2022. That 2017 (!!) list is obsolete now and I've seen about 27 films from it. And even that February list includes three films that I've now seen: Les Vampires, The Son and Tropical Malady.

I didn't plan on sharing an updated list anytime soon but since the issue has been pressed, OK. I loosened the requirements to add a few new titles.

My top unseen foreign-language films (9/22)
1. A City of Sadness 1989
2. A Prophet 2009
3. Abraham's Valley 1993
4. Akira 1988
5. Blissfully Yours 2002
6. Colossal Youth 2006
7. D'est 1993
8. Distant 2002
9. Farewell My Concubine 1993
10. Infernal Affairs 2002
11. La Region Centrale 1971
12. Mother and Son 1997
13. Nostalgia for the Light 2010
14. Platform 2000
15. Raise the Red Lantern 1991
16. Rosetta 1999
17. Shoah 1985
18. Still Life 2006
19. Syndromes and a Century 2006
20. The Hour of the Furnaces 1968
21. The Puppetmaster 1993
22. The Taking of Power by Louis XIV 1966
23. The Travelling Players 1975
24. Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks 2002
25. Twenty Years Later 1984
26. Van Gogh 1991

I think I have links saved for streams of A City of Sadness, La Region Centrale, Abraham's Valley, Raise the Red Lantern, The Puppetmaster and The Travelling Players.
As I have already said, it's difficult to make a recommendation without knowing your taste better. Not really sure what to infer from this list (a lot of Asian films, though they are not that similar, really... a lot of what might be called "slow cinema..."). Does it point more to what you are hesitant to watch based on previous experience or does it have more to do with what isn't so accessible (some of these remain on my own "to see" list for exactly that reason).

Of those I have seen, Mother and Son may be my favorite, but its definitely in that "hit or miss" category that will appeal in a big way or likely not at all.
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#113

Post by Ebbywebby »

Minkin wrote: ↑September 4th, 2022, 11:25 am
Ebbywebby wrote: ↑September 4th, 2022, 11:15 am 22. The Taking of Power by Louis XIV 1966
This one is interesting - because the main actor who plays Louis XIV was possibly one of the worst actors in any film - as he spends the whole movie barely getting anything right, reading from cue cards, and just dying inside of stage fright, but it turns out Rossellini specifically chose this on purpose - because he thought it best represented Louis XIV at the time he was living in - with the constant threat of being overthrown and guillotined. So it was a way to show how timid and frightened he must've been, thus he cast someone who fit that bill.
That does make the film sound more interesting than I imagined...thanks for the tip.
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#114

Post by Torgo »

Ebbywebby wrote: ↑September 4th, 2022, 11:15 am You two should have referenced the updated list I shared back in February, 2022. That 2017 (!!) list is obsolete now
I know. I realized that. I just love to dig out ancient shit in this Forum, as you might have noticed. tehe (BUT I referenced, by choice, 3 titles that were still relevant.)

Mh I dunno, your updated list has less essential works than 2017 in my eyes (good progress on your side!). There's a lot of slow(ish) stuff present that's not easy to recommend. HHH belongs to the most praised Asian directors I can't get into. Nostalgia de la Luz was one of my highest watchlist entries for almost a decade and then I .. liked it. Not admired. Too much pressure from me :unsure:
Tell us how you liked Tie Xi Qu as soon as those 50 hours are over.
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#115

Post by Ebbywebby »

Well, I finished Raise the Red Lantern a bit ago. Finally. Watched about 50 minutes last night and the rest today. It was very good, but I felt it was hurt by trying too hard to be G-rated. The story had more sex and violence than the film allowed us to see. Now, what's left is....

1. A City of Sadness 1989
2. A Prophet 2009
3. Abraham's Valley 1993
4. Akira 1988
5. Blissfully Yours 2002
6. Colossal Youth 2006
7. D'est 1993
8. Distant 2002
9. Farewell My Concubine 1993
10. Infernal Affairs 2002
11. La Region Centrale 1971
12. Mother and Son 1997
13. Nostalgia for the Light 2010
14. Platform 2000
15. Rosetta 1999
16. Shoah 1985
17. Still Life 2006
18. Syndromes and a Century 2006
19. The Hour of the Furnaces 1968
20. The Puppetmaster 1993
21. The Taking of Power by Louis XIV 1966
22. The Travelling Players 1975
23. Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks 2002
24. Twenty Years Later 1984
25. Van Gogh 1991

Red Lantern is on Amazon Prime's new "Freevee" service, so I had to endure several commercial breaks. But I think they were 45 seconds at most, so who cares?
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#116

Post by Ebbywebby »

I was surprised to discover "Rosetta" is newly added to HBO Max, so I jumped on it right away. I was even more excited to see HBO Max has added "Lucia" (1968), which is not on my watchlist but is virtually the first runner-up for inclusion. I'll watch that very soon.

So, what's left is...
1. A City of Sadness 1989
2. A Prophet 2009
3. Abraham's Valley 1993
4. Akira 1988
5. Blissfully Yours 2002
6. Colossal Youth 2006
7. D'est 1993
8. Distant 2002
9. Farewell My Concubine 1993
10. Infernal Affairs 2002
11. La Region Centrale 1971
12. Mother and Son 1997
13. Nostalgia for the Light 2010
14. Platform 2000
15. Shoah 1985
16. Still Life 2006
17. Syndromes and a Century 2006
18. The Hour of the Furnaces 1968
19. The Puppetmaster 1993
20. The Taking of Power by Louis XIV 1966
21. The Travelling Players 1975
22. Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks 2002
23. Twenty Years Later 1984
24. Van Gogh 1991
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